Wishes granted for Pacific children


Make A Wish New Zealand is extending its magic to the Pacific and making very ill children’s wishes come true.

The Make A Wish Foundation operates in many countries and makes dreams come true for children and teenagers with life threatening illnesses.

Wishes may range from wanting a wide screen plasma TV to something as simple as a new outfit for Barbie.

The chairperson of Make a Wish New Zealand, Gilli Sinclair, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that wishes are now being fulfilled in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji.

“We had a wonderful opportunity to support the Pacific nations in developing Make A Wish,” she said.

The first wishes were granted last year to children in Tonga.

Five wishes will be granted in Samoa this week and 15 in Fiji in May.

“For the Tonga wishes that we did, there were several children that wanted laptops or flat screen televisions but a favourite one was a litle girl from the middle of the Tongan islands who wanted a Barbie dress,” she said.

“Of the wishes being made in Samoa this week, there are a few television sets with DVD players but one girl just wanted glitter,” she said.

“So we’ve been vigorously going through the shops finding glitter clothes and glitter shoes and some glitter paste – she’s absolutely obssessed with glitter.”

The children are referred through the hospital system and must meet the universal eligibility criterion set out by Make A Wish.

Ms Sinclair says Vanuatu and the Cook Islands will also be included this year and she hopes to grant wishes to children in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the future.

“The Pacific wishes particularly, are incredibly simple and very humbling and these kids have such wonderful resilience and strength in what they do.

“I think the Pacific kids are very cute too so it’s just a nice way to be involved.”